Are you curious about how to perfect your sales pitch to land contracting jobs? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know in order to be successful.
As a contractor, you might be thinking, “I didn’t get into this business to be a salesperson – I got into this business to build things, to fix things – to work with my hands!”
Unfortunately, owning a contracting business is just as much about making the sale as it is about producing that final project.
A sales pitch is simply a condensed sales presentation in which the contractor explains the nature and benefits of their business. Sometimes these are short – referred to as “elevator pitches” because they can be delivered within the time constraints of a single elevator ride – and other times they’re a bit longer.
An effective sales pitch will be one that allows you to get your message across concisely and in a compelling fashion – and help you land the job of your dreams.
How to Perfect Your Sales Pitch to Land Clients For Your Construction Business: 8 Simple Tips
Want to perfect your sales pitch so you land more clients – and make more money for your business? Here are some simple tips.
1. Give it a Strong Start
Give your sales pitch a strong start. You’ll need to grab the attention of your clients so that they’re actually interested in hearing what you have to offer.
Start with the problem that your client is facing, then tailor the start of the pitch to that specific problem. If you’re a general contractor, you’ll have to do some work here to narrow the problem down into the specific service that you’re offering the specific client.
In addition to recognizing the problem that the client has (faulty wiring, for example, if you’re an electrician bidding on a job), you also need to recognize the risks. If the problem isn’t solved with the solution you’re proposing (ie, fixing the wiring), what does the client have to lose (fire or electrocution hazard, power outages, etc).
You don’t have to scare the client–but alluding to potential risks early on in your presentation will help you get buy–in to your pitch before it even really starts.
2. Keep it Short and Sweet
Keep things simple when you’re crafting your sales pitch. If you know you aren’t good at doing this, consider hiring a marketing professional (or even just the best writer you know) to do it for you.
There’s a place for flowery, grandiose writing, but a sales pitch isn’t it. You want to make sure your sales pitch, website, and any and all marketing materials are as short and to the point as can be.
You may want to share as much information as possible, but information overload will only cloud what you have to offer. If you’re not sure what needs to stay and what needs to go, draft up your sales pitch and share it with a few team members or friends. Have them look for redundancies that can be omitted.
Use simple, value-based words and avoid complex industry jargon. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.
3. Have a Good Idea of Who Your Customers Are – and What Problems They Are Facing
Never pitch without knowing who you’re pitching to. While it’s relatively easy to market services to residential clients, it can be a bit more complicated once you start dipping into the commercial side. The person you contact initially might not be the person you work with throughout the entire decision-making process.
If you can, learn everything you can about every single person involved in the project.
Also, remember this one key fact: your customers are self-centered.
Now, you might be thinking, “well that’s not very nice!” but it’s important to recognize that the phrase “self-centered” isn’t used here in a pejorative way.
Instead, what it means is that your customers’ brains will focus better on messaging that’s focused on them. You need to show the customer what you can do for them, not just on what you can do (period). Sell the benefits of your projects and services – not the features.
To do this, you’ll need to have a clear idea of your customer base. Being as narrow and specific as possible in your line of work is the best way to do this. If you’re a general contractor, for instance, you’re going to have a harder time pinpointing your target market than you might if you just deal in electrical work.
Think carefully about what sorts of problems your customers are facing. Unreliable service from contractors? Faulty installation? Bad response times when things go awry after a project has ended? Make a list of how your products and services can solve your customers’ most common dilemmas, and target those action items in your sales pitch.
4. Make it Visual
Although few of us like to admit it, we all have old, reptilian brains that are hardwired to make decisions based primarily on visual input. Because of that, you have the best shot at landing new contracting jobs if you can present things in a visual way.
Sure, words are helpful when you’re describing what you do and what you have to offer – and they’re an essential part of any sales pitch. But what if you could take things up a notch and add images?
Some examples of excellent visual stimuli for contractors to include in their pitches and proposals include:
- Photos of finished products (choose those similar to the projects you’re proposing to avoid confusion)
- Graphics and charts of your process of execution
- Professionally-branded equipment, uniforms, or vehicles
- Images of previous customers enjoying your past projects (a smile goes a long way!)
5. Evoke Emotion
Another telltale characteristic of our antiquated reptilian brains? We tend to make the vast majority of decisions based on emotions.
While rationales and logic certainly have their place in your sales pitch, it’s also a good idea to appeal to your customers’ emotions.
Want to evoke a sense of awe? Describe the experience you provide to your customers in detail – and share equally awe-inspired testimonials from past clients from previous contracting jobs (again, try to stick to the same niche if you offer a variety of services, to avoid confusion).
Perhaps you want to inspire a slight sense of fear. You can educate the client that the competition may have not included everything they want – and that you can solve their problem and alleviate their concerns by offering just a little bit more. Be careful with doing this, since you don’t want to create the impression that you’re trash-talking the competition.
However, what you can do is counter fears that clients have about hiring you with a clear indication of why your company is better. For instance, if a client asks why you are charging 25% more than a competitor, you can counter that with, “I understand that we charge slightly more than (competitor x) – and if you simply can’t afford us, that’s okay! But if you’d like, I’d love to tell you a bit more about why we’re worth the extra – and about the extra value you’ll receive. Can I explain how our pricing works to you?”
Another common sales pitch technique is to create a slight sense of anxiety. The most common way that contractors do this in their sales pitches is to indicate that their schedules are filling up – and that clients need to secure spots for jobs and pay a deposit in order to avoid missing out.
6. Do Your Homework
Be as prepared as possible before you go into your sales pitch. What are your client’s pain points? How can your company address them?
Is the main priority completing a project by a specific deadline? About minimizing the budget? Reducing disruptions to nearby residents?
Once you know the biggest concerns, you can craft a more targeted pitch.
How do you learn more about your clients? Visit them! Go out and talk to clients. Even before you craft and deliver a formal sales pitch, you can still wander around and introduce yourself, giving a brief sales pitch to help give your business a major boost.
Be prepared for any technical aspects of your sales pitch, too. Have videos or diagrams of the equipment you plan to use, or building plans for the site. Make your sales pitch as detailed (though again, not resident or overly complicated) as possible).
Don’t forget to put those finishing touches on your pitch, either. Double-check all written materials for any mistakes. A misplaced decimal point could end up costing you a lot of money – or causing you to lose the job entirely.
Not only that, but poorly written proposals send the message to clients that you are too busy to run a basic spell check – and therefore, are probably too busy to make sure the project will be completed safely and to the specifications, too.